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Old December 4th, 2011 #1
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Join Date: Jan 2009
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Default Caucasians are not always White - The case of Bhagad Singh

Not All Caucasians Are White: The Supreme Court Rejects Citizenship for Indians

Posted in the Hindu Forum


United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind, 261 U.S. 204 (1923), was a case in which the United States Supreme Court decided that Bhagat Singh Thind, who was a high caste Punjabi, settled in Oregon, could not be a naturalized citizen of the United States, despite the fact that a proportion of anthropologists had defined a proportion of people in India as part of the Caucasian race.

In its decision in the case of U.S. v. Bhagat Singh Thind (1923), the Supreme Court deemed Indians ineligible for citizenship because U.S. law allowed only free whites to become naturalized citizens. The court conceded that Indians were "Caucasians" and that anthropologists considered them to be of the same race as white Americans, but argued that "the average man knows perfectly well that there are unmistakable and profound differences."

The Thind decision also led to successful efforts to denaturalize some who had previously become citizens. This represented a particular threat in California, where a 1913 law prohibited aliens ineligible for citizenship from owning or leasing land.

Only in 1946 did Congress, which was beginning to recognize that India would soon be independent and a major world power, pass a new law that allowed Indians to become citizens and also established a small immigration quota.


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